Contemporary Rug Sizing Guide
Use the graphics below to help you size and select area rugs. Rugs can really tie a room together if they are sized and space correctly, otherwise they can stick out and appear cumbersome and in the way.
Around The Coffee Table
People tend to under size area rugs around their coffee table. The rug should extend at least to about halfway to the back of the furniture surrounding the coffee table. This will help provide cohesion to the space and give the grouping of furniture its own focal point - making it a space within a space. This increases the intimacy of the grouping and provides a pleasing balance within the overall space.
Under a Rectangle Dining Table
Around the dining table, it is best to size the rug to extend beyond the table, but don't feel obligated to size the rug where all the seating will sit completely on the rug. The front legs of the chairs can sit on the rug while the back legs sit off the rug. Oversizing rectangular rugs around a dining table has different effects, both practically and visually, to oversizing round rugs around a round dining table. This is discussed below.
Living Room Area
This is another place where people tend to under size their area rugs. For this type of furniture layout, it is best to extend the rug well beyond the edges of the seating. Most of the points made above, regarding rugs around a coffee table, apply here. The idea is to pull together focal points within a space in order to promote social interaction and intimacy. Building spaces within spaces using furniture is a great way to space plan, and a different way to think about how one flows through a space and perceives a gathering area.
Under the Bed
For a rug underneath a bed, it is a best practice to cover the floor under the bottom 1/2 to 2/3 of the bed. Don't feel obligated to cover the entire area under the bed. This can mess with nightstand placement as well as other factors and should be avoided. Also consider that most of the rug underneath a bed will be covered by the bed itself. This should affect the way you think about the graphics of the rug. Also consider how one will move through the left over space of the bedroom. Will an impeding rug intrude on circulation space? It's best to allow for plenty of flow space.
Entries and Hallways
For an entry way, hallway, or thin and linear space, it is best to keep the rug sized to one side of the space, or down the middle with plenty of room on both sides. Don't be tempted to over size the rug and fill the entire space. Rug sizing considerations often have to do with proportions as well as practical issues. Will the ratio of left over floor space to rug space leave a pleasing ratio or an awkward setting?
Under a Round Dining Table
Underneath a round dining table, it is best to allow the dining chairs to sit fully on the rug, even when they are pulled out. Round rugs make it a little more awkward for chair legs to sit two on and two off. The proportions of the two circles will be more pleasing this way as well. Round dining tables are special in that they create their own focal point, and therefore their own sub space. It is best to give a round dining table more breathing room around it and more rug within that breathing room, giving a wide even spacing between elements and allowing for extra visual space. Undersizing a rug underneath a round dining table will make the sub space feel busy and awkward.